Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A week after dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced he will challenge for Republican Sen. Cory Gardner's seat.
Hickenlooper's entrance in the race instantly makes it one of the highest-profile Senate contests. In a video announcement late Wednesday, he linked Gardner with President Donald Trump and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell.
"I don't think Cory Gardner understands the games he's playing with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are hurting the people of Colorado," Hickenlooper said. "We ought to be working together to move this country forward and stop the political nonsense.
"I know changing Washington is hard but I want to give it a shot. I'm not done fighting for the people of Colorado."
Hickenlooper's presidential run failed to generate support in a crowded Democratic field and he also struggled to meet more stringent requirements for the next debates in Houston.
"John Hickenlooper is desperate to redeem himself after flopping on the national stage, but we think he said it best just a few months ago: he is 'not cut out' for the Senate," National Republican Senatorial Committee representative Joanna Rodriguez said.
"This crowded Senate field has been in a race to the left, and Hickenlooper's quixotic presidential bid did not do him any favors in proving he can compete in any race in 2020."
Several other Democrats are also challenging Gardner, including former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.